Recently, five members of Maine Department of Education’s School Finance and Operations Team were recognized for their work in summer meals for students.
Maine DOE is reminding districts the school lunch meal must be offered to students each school day, including planned half days and early release, as part of the National School Lunch Program Agreement to Participate.
Maine Harvest Lunch Week will be celebrated by school districts across the state this year from Sept. 21-25, with the Maine School Garden Open House taking place on Sept. 26. This year’s theme is “A Fresh Take on School Meals.”
As part of the Federal Hunger Free Kids Act that went into effect July 1, local food service directors or the individual completing director’s duties must now meet the minimum hiring requirements for the director position. The standards have several options available to local districts. The new federal law also requires local food service staff to meet training standards.
In case you missed the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference, here is a recap with valuable links.
Acting Commissioner of Education, Thomas Desjardin opened and closed the conference at Sunday River with timely updates on the ongoing FY16 budget discussions and voting at the State House at the time. He also acknowledged the ever changing educational climate and the hard work and successes of school leaders and Maine DOE’s support through its multi-faceted services.
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The Summer Food Services Program kicked off in Bangor and Portland on June 19 and is in full swing throughout the state this month. In Bangor, five sites are open keeping students nourished through a cooperative effort of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Bangor School District, Bangor Housing Authority, USDA, and Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Services.
Child Nutrition Programs of the Maine DOE has a new ride and it’s the first in the Northeast.
Due to recent questions regarding offering school lunch on half days, the Maine DOE’s Office of Child Nutrition is clarifying the National School Lunch Program Agreement to Participate.
The following letter was received by the Maine DOE from the United States Department of Agriculture on June 3.
Ensuring that America’s children have the proper nutrition to grow up healthy, learn, and reach their full potential is critical for delivering on the American promise of equal opportunity for all. Our nation has a long and impressive history of ensuring that those in need — especially children — have the food they need to thrive. Your leadership is needed to help ensure that children do not go hungry in your community this summer.
From the Maine Department of Education
On Monday May 18 the legislature’s Joint Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs held a work session on LD 695 “An Act To Empower Parents in the Education of Their Children by Allowing an Opt-out from Standardized Assessments.” The end result was that 11 of the 13 committee members voted not to force local school districts to inform parents of their right to opt-out of statewide assessment. Two of the eleven voted to pass a version of the bill without that requirement. The bill now goes to the Maine House and Senate.
Discussion of the bill included a lot of information regarding the legal aspects of this potential action. This included legal opinions from attorneys with both the Office of the Maine Attorney General and the legislature’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis.
Both attorneys advised the committee that parents and students have a right to not take the standardized statewide assessment. No one is going to force a child to sit and take the test. They do not, however, have a right to be shielded from the consequences of that act which could range from action by the school district or loss of federal funding for the school. Local school districts in Maine have the authority under state law to place requirements on students and not award a diploma if the student does not meet these requirements. This could include things such as community service, a senior year graduation exam, or participation in statewide or local assessments.
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Over 1,000 students and educators will bring their Maine Department of Education provided digital devices to UMaine on Thursday for a one-day conference. | More
The Maine DOE is promoting the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) summit at Colby College in Waterville on August 6-7. | More
Beginning July 1 school nutrition program directors will be required to meet new hiring standards as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent ruling establishing national professional standards for all school nutrition employees. | More
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